SOMA Neuromuscular Integration, or SOMA Bodywork, is a form of manual therapy that is focused on improving the biomechanical functioning of the human body. In this practice, the body is viewed as a whole, not a specific symptom or problem.
The foundation of this work is based on Ida Rolf’s research and curiosity of human movement in space and time/gravity. Ida Rolf was born in the Bronx at the turn of the century and studied at Barnard college and later at Columbia University where she earned her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry. Due to health issues of her own and her children, Ida began researching and studying a variety of alternative therapies. Ultimately, she found her interest in structural integration – improving the body’s general health by aligning each segment in gravity – head centered over shoulders, shoulders centered over pelvis and pelvis centered over ankles. She came to call this bodywork Postural Integration which would later be called Rolfing. It was the perfect marriage of her intellectual background in Chemistry and her inquisitiveness in healing.
SOMA, which was developed by one of Ida Rolf’s students, improves joint mobility and functional strength while aligning the body in a natural vertical plane. After just a few sessions, posture is often improved and there is an ease in day-to-day movements. The need to pull the shoulders back or ‘stand up straight’ is no longer needed.
The SOMA sessions can be experienced in a 10-session series or they can be customized and focused on particular areas of the body that might be feeling troublesome.